Imagine you own a seed and plant business and today you receive beautifully hand-written letters from children at five different primary schools. Each school runs a kitchen garden program and the children are excited about growing their own food then cooking and sharing meals with their class-mates and adult helpers. The children tell you about all the useful skills they learn and how, since starting their garden, they now eat a variety of unusual vegetables. There are even photos showing smiling children holding signs that say ‘Please help’ and ‘Thank you’. You are also a parent so there are plenty of tugs on your heart-stings.
Four of the five letters ask for free seeds and small items of equipment. Of course you have a genuine interest in supporting schools to maintain vegetables gardens, after all, the school is full of potential customers and what's not to love about kids eating vegetables. Except that today is not the only day you receive these letters. They come most weeks and you can only give away so much before you question the message you give away with the seeds.
The fifth letter offers you a value proposition. The children and teachers at this school have developed a micro-business, the children have several products and are building customer relationships. Are you interested in buying the Pigeon Pea seeds they grew and harvested in their school garden? They can supply around one kilo and if you are interested they can negotiate a price for a regular supply and wonder how you would like them packaged. They include some seeds to show you the quality of their product.
How will you respond to the five letters?
Engage your students in micro-business development and strengthen the financial position of your school's kitchen garden program. Call me and together we will co-design a Social Enterprise structure to enable a financially resilient succession plan where the revolving door of parents, teachers, children and even principals can plug into and prosper.